We are very excited to celebrate fair trade month! Not sure what fair trade means? Let us break it down for you…What does fair trade mean? When something is Fair Trade Certified, it protects the environments,through helping farmers and workers to practice sustainable farming,remove dangerous chemical and preserve their land. This is very important when it comes to tea, as you don’t want to be ingesting those harsh chemicals without knowing. Fair Trade gives you the confidence to trust the tea company and the tea farmers, and also reminds you that your tea is socially sustainable as well as environmentally sustainable. The social sustainability goes towards empowering families to keep their children in school,and enables these people with access to health care, and representation. If you want to learn more about Fair Trade Practices and tea, check out Jim at Shui Tea‘s blog post “Soulja Boy Teaches Fair Trade” to go more in-depth! What can you do as a consumer? If you are unsure whether the tea you are buying is fair trade, or sustainably farmed, contact the company and ask, most companies are more than happy to have a customer relationship with you and will answer promptly!
Why Arbor Teas? Their tea catalog of nearly 100 teas are all completely certified organic by the USDA. Roughly two-thirds of those 100 teas are also Fair Trade Certified! “Sustainability is a major focus of our business. We recently became the first (and only) tea company to offer our whole selection of teas in 100% backyard compostable packaging. We’ve also carbon-offset the entire supply chain of our products, from origin to the customer, making Arbor Teas the greenest option for Earth-conscious tea drinkers.”(Arborteas.com)
First things first: This tea is hand rolled with a slight arch to make it look like eyebrows! How Bizzare and intriguing! The dry leaves do look like very tiny eyebrows…maybe for a mouse, or a chipmunk.The dry leaves smell very sweet and grassy. After steeping,the first thing I noticed was that all the leaves almost completely expanded and unfurled! The unfurled leaves are the tea liquor was a medium amber color and smelled almost cinnamon-like, with hints of fruitiness and a darker scent, that reminded me of fresh-baked cinnamon chocolate chip cookies. With a smell like that, I could not wait to taste the tea!
The flavor was very full-bodied in my mouth, and smooth upon swallowing. The taste was a bit astringent and tart,which reminded me of the tart flavor in plums and peaches. I get a very faint sweetness in the tea, but the tart flavor overpowers the sweetness. I also taste a slight hint of smokiness,which reminds me of roasted chestnuts. Finally, the mouth feel is heavy, and full, like you just sipped on melted butter. The slight astringency in the tea left my mouth feeling clean, slightly dry,but overall very refreshed after sipping on the liquor. All these flavors meshed together to create a very pleasant cuppa. I really enjoyed this tea, it was different from other green teas, and I would recommend it to someone who isn’t very fond of the greener, more vegetal teas.